On 13 June 2019, the Václav Havel Library in Prague held a discussion entitled The Image of Migration and Integration in a Polarized Society, in which the publication "Phantom Menace: The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe" published in early 2019 by IVO and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung was presented.
The intention of the organizers was summarized on the Facebook page of the Václav Havel Library as follows:
“Since 2015, when the so-called refugee crisis culminated, migration has become a key subject of social interest and political debate. It has become a theme that deeply divides society, provokes fear in many people, affects political affairs and election campaigns and election results, and has also substantially shaken the unity of the European Union. However, in the last two years the number of asylum seekers in the EU has fallen almost to the pre-crisis levels, and the topic is slowly receding. However, the lack of labor force and low level of unemployment in the Czech Republic lead to a rapidly growing number of foreign workers whose integration brings new challenges for our society.
How are these changes reflected in the current debate on migration? What is the media image of it now, what does it mean for our society and how it affects our country’s migration and integration policies? How did this topic appear in the campaign before the European Parliament elections in late May?
These and other issues will be discussed by Radha Sarma Hegde, a scientist in the area of media, culture and communication from NYU, Grigorij Mesežnikov, director of the Slovak Institute for Public Affairs and editor of the book Phantom Menace: The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe, Eva Valentová from the Association for Integration and Migration, who is the author of one of the chapters, and Adéla Jurečková from People in Need, who will present the current research of media image of migration in the Czech Republic.
The discussion will be moderated by Daniela Vrbová from Czech public radio ČRo Plus, who was a long-time editor of the program Focused on Foreigners.
The debate is organized by the Consortium of NGOs working with migrants in the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Prague office Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung”.